Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Really Love Eggs!

I tend to go on and on about eggs. I try to buy cage-free eggs because they are so much healthier than factory production-line eggs (aka battery cages). I try to have my kids eat eggs everyday. We have them for lunch or breakfast. We also keep boiled eggs in the fridge that they can snack on. When I started my kids on the Weston A Price style, no processed foods diet, they were in the 25th percentile for height. A year later, seriously limiting processed foods, eating eggs instead of cold cereal, they have all shot up to the 75th percentile in height. Two of them also have asthma, and since changing our diet they rarely suffer from asthma attacks. (Less than 1 attack a year for the past two years.) I have no doubt that an improved diet has greatly improved their immune systems and helped their growth and development. Eggs are a healthy, quick and cheap way to improve your families diet.
"Although maligned in nutritional recommendations, eggs are the most nutritious and the least expensive protein source in the grocery store. At only 68 calories, one egg provides about 11 percent of your daily protein requirement. Eggs contain a variety of important nutrients including every vitamin, mineral and natural antioxidant that your body needs. (Those nutrients are enough to feed a growing chick so that it hatches healthy, but one egg is not enough for you to meet your daily requirement!) Studies at many major universities in the U.S. and abroad attest to the egg as an excellent source of protein. Many in the forefront of anti-aging research believe that moderate egg consumption of one per day should be an integral part of a complete anti-aging diet." (Fred Kummerow, PhD, Article: Protein: Building Blocks of the Body, Oct 04, 2011.)
Apparently cage-free eggs and free-range eggs may not be as superior as we thought. The terms "cage-free" and "free-range" do not necessarily mean that the hens will spend any time outdoors, eating or grazing upon a wide variety of natural foods such as grubs and greens. The term "cage-free" simply refers to hens that are not caged and are allowed to roam. Eggland's Best Eggs are advertised as "cage-free" and fed an "all-natural, all-vegetarian feed." This means no access to natural diet. The term "free-range" refers to hens that are allowed access to the outside but due to hen-raising practices and limited access this is quite unlikely. For the egg consumer, this is a problem. It seems we have few options. 1 - Raise hens for eggs. 2 - Purchase eggs locally from a family or farm with whose farming practices we are familiar. 3 - Purchase "pasture-raised" eggs.
"Not only do many people find these eggs to be much tastier, but there is accumulating evidence that the eggs from these hens have better nutritional profiles -- less cholesterol, less fat but more healthy Omega-3 fat, and more of other nutrients such as Vitamin A, lutein, vitamin E, and beta-carotene." (Article by Laura Dolson, "What Is A Cage-Free Egg," March 27, 2009.
Check out this blog on 'Why I Pay $7.50 for a Dozen Eggs." I usually say that these eggs are so much healthier (and tastier) than eggs in the grocery store that they are worth at least 3X as much. Do I plan on paying $7.50 for a dozen eggs? I certainly do not. I know two or three families in town who "pasture" their hens and sell eggs for about $2 a dozen. Until I can raise hens of my own I will support local agriculture! Ready to try more eggs in your diet? Here is one of our families favorite recipes using eggs:
Chilaquiles (Chee - la- kee- less) Ingredients: 10 old corn tortillas (stale or dried out) 1 can tomato sauce (8oz) 8 - 10 eggs 4 oz. shredded cheese (your choice) 1 Tablespoon butter, olive oil or coconut oil salt and pepper to taste. Tear up the tortillas into strips or small pieces. Fry the tortillas in the butter or oil, stirring over med-high heat until the edges are well toasted. Add the tomato sauce and the eggs. Stir until the eggs are cooked. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with cheese. Turn off heat and allow cheese to melt. Serve. This can be served with salsa and sour cream if desired. These are good with chorizo as well. There are many more ways to make chilaquiles online.

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